Faith (and I) would argue that the world is getting worse or at best still mired in the violent brutish thug phase that Percy mentions.
1. Deaths due to wars are at all time lows. 2. Fewest people (per capita) below the poverty line in all of human history. 3. Least amount of starvation in perhaps all of human history.
Just those three things alone tip it towards "getting better" in my estimation. I don't know what the numbers are on democracies worldwide, but that probably looks good as well.
Just 2 or 3 generations ago you had to worry about your child dying from diseases that no parent has to worry about today. 100 years ago the average life expectancy was much lower than it is today.
In my opinion, this has a lot to do with humans creating the most deadly weapons ever made: the nuclear bomb. A war between superpowers will lead to utter destruction of one or both superpowers, so they are limited to small proxy wars. Times of peace have lead to times of prosperity.
Could this all go in the opposite direction in the future? Maybe. However, that's not the quesiton. If you are asking about right now, then this is the best time in human history to be alive, on average.
But in the last half century to a century or so Christianity has declined and we've embraced all kinds of anti-Christian ideas and practices, which are bringing God's judgments down on us.
Lowest poverty in all of history, lowest starvation rates, fewest wars, most freedom . . . if that is God's judgement being brought down on us, then I say we do whatever we can do get more of it. Right now is the best time to be alive in the entirety of human history.
We can also logically deduce that eventually a competition of resources will result in a decline of the human population. One day, maybe in our lifetime, populations will rapidly decline. It might come as a collapse of the global market, an outstripping of natural resources, a series of cataclysmic disaster, famine, pestilence, massive war the likes the world has never seen... maybe a combination.
The big one would be food, and from what I can see there is still plenty of arable land available across the globe. The Green Revolution has produced massive increases in food yield per acre, as well as created new varieties that can grow in places where it couldn't be grown before.
But perhaps you didn't mean on such a grand scale. Maybe you want to know if life is better now than it was in the 1950s. If you ask the Chinese, they might say their lives improved considerably. They shifted away from an agrarian existence and are set to overtake the US. I don't know... is that better? Is that worse? Point is, we really don't have a reference point. It's all relative to what we each individual would describe as "better" or "worse."
If we look at the basics of what a human needs, the Chinese are WAY better off. They are no longer threatened by famine. They have access to good housing. Child mortality has plummeted, and access to health care for everyone is much better. Is it better to move into a middle class per Western ideals? I think most Chinese think it is better.
If we want a hard and fast measure of improvement we could chart the number of people who buy KFC chicken. I think we could say that the current conditions of the human species is finger lickin' good.
The US is at war with: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and Niger.
For a comparison, in the 5-7 year span of WWII the death tolls were 20 million Soviets, 20 million Chinese, 7 million Germans, 5 million in the Holocaust, 6 million in Poland . . . well, you get the idea. There isn't anything really approaching these numbers right now.
Most people at Ellis Island had legitimate authority to be there of one sort or another, but at our southern border we are talking about gate crashers mostly.
So you would be okay with those southern border gate crashers getting on a boat and entering the country through Ellis Island the same way the Italians, Germans, and Irish did? Why couldn't we set up the same thing at the southern border?
Even those seeking asylum don't do it right, they wait until they get here to make that claim.
How long would they have to wait if they did it that way? How long would they have to stay in life threatening situations?
We can't take in six billion people you know. Or maybe you don't know it.
I agree, we can't take in everyone who wants to come here. However, we can take in a lot more than we are currently taking in, and do so fairly and compassionately.
Re: Why is it always the Environment versus the Economy?
The problem with the Left's solutions seems to me to be that they destroy the economy, put people out of work and make us dependent on enemy nations for things we should be able to supply for ourselves.
There's the idiotic hysterics from the Right that we are talking about.
And as long as the Left keeps accusing us of not caring or of being greedy, caring only about money, and when they have the power forcing their solutions on us that DO wreck the economy, the less inspired conservatives are to find solutions.
You are getting feedback from the hysteria in your own echo chamber.
The major problem is that conservatives refuse to accept the science.
Re: So is it possible to have both economic prosperity AND a concern for the environment?
There is always the usual problem that the Left tends to reduce it all to namecalling and accusations, . . .
Have you read your own posts?
You might need to start with giving Trump some credit for a change and I know that may make it all impossible, but all Trump is doing is trying to accomplish his aim to build up the economy and make America prosperous again, and unfortunately that means reversing some pro-environment laws that interfere with industry.
Trump denies that carbon dioxide emissions are responsible for climate change. If Trump said that he accepts all of the science pointing to humanity's impact on global climate, but wanted to get the policies right, then I would give him some credit. However, he denies the science as do many in the Republican party.
This is the first thing that needs to get fixed. We can't fix a problem if people deny there is a problem. Perhaps you can be a voice inside conservative circles that can start to budge Republicans on this issue.
Why can't we have both an active program to improve the environment AND an active concern to improve the economy?
Why can't building new sources of energy be profitable and improve the economy? We could start building solar panels in coal country, as one example.
Re: We don't need to get hysterical about climate change, it only makes things worse
I'm not sure we need to emphasize the science of climate change in order to do something toward solving whatever problems it may cause.
Why would someone act to reduce carbon emissions if they don't think it is causing any problems?
We can get people to put their inventive human minds to ways to deal with catastrophic weather for instance, and rising sea levels (which don't seem to be rising nearly as fast given the loss of ice at the poles as might have been expected).
This is a bit confusing. What is the volume of water that has been added to the ocean, and how much sea level rise would you expect from that volume of water? Also, you need to factor in thermal expansion. Sea level can rise without adding more water to the oceans.
I think we can talk about the obviously depressing consequences of the loss of the rain forest without even mentioning climate change.
Reforestation doesn't reduce carbon emissions.
We don't need to scare poor little Greta Thunberg to death.
We don't need to ignore the truth just because it's scary. Sometimes, the truth is scary. Avoiding the truth doesn't make it go away. What good people do is face the scary truth, overcome their fears, and solve the problem.
I refuse to believe we have to shut down all human enterprise to care for the environment.
That's a bit silly. We could drastically reduce carbon emissions by replacing all fossil fuel power plants with nuclear plants, and switch as much of our transportation as possible to electric. We wouldn't have to shut down all human enterprise. We could research alternatives for powering transport ships as well.